Singer-songwriter Dean Lewis is a sad boy.
With his staple plain black T-shirt, perfectly tousled brown hair, and crooning, angelic voice, you have to wonder how much he’s curated his broody vibes for charm’s sake. For women, he’s the artsy boy you pined for in high school, and he’s #relatable for guys in their mid-20s who feel just a little out of sorts.
The 31-year-old Australian, who mainly sings about longing, heartbreak and nostalgia, wooed the crowd who showed up at St. David’s Historic Sanctuary for his South by Southwest performance. With a packed chapel, Lewis played a short set with only a keyboard and couple of guitars. And that’s really all he needed. The venue suited his performance as he talked to the audience in between each song, making things feel that much more intimate.
He opened with the melancholic “Half A Man,” a new release from his upcoming debut album “A Place We Knew,” which will be released on March 22. “I’m so excited, the album’s dropping in seven days!” he said with boyish excitement. He played a couple of other new tracks including one called “Hold On,” which is set to drop in the next couple of days, and another called “Stay Awake,” which Lewis noted might make listeners actually want to “groove.”
“But if you listen to the lyrics, you’ll see they’re actually really sad,” he said. “Can’t ever let my fans down — no happy songs.”
Lewis closed out the night with a performance of “Waves,” his debut single from 2016 that first garnered attention. He said when he wrote the song, he was trying to capture the feeling of youth, with lyrics like, “we watch as our young hearts fade.”
And on that note, he left the crowd feeling a little bit sad but a little more understood.
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